Guyana, named from an Amerindian word meaning “the land of many waters,” is on the northern coast of South America. It shares historical roots and cultural customs with English-speaking islands in the Caribbean. Guyana has a large East Indian population–-the descendants of indentured workers from India.
The majority of Indo Guyanese are either Hindu or Muslim. Most Afro Guyanese call themselves Christians, though Rastafarianism and the revival of African spiritism attract many.
Walter and Annetta Spieth opened Guyana for Baptist Mid-Missions in 1954. They established Baptist churches in Georgetown and in two Indo Guyanese communities. In August 1960 five organized churches formed the Association of Baptist Churches in Guyana.
Guyana’s independence in 1966 brought increasing difficulty for foreign missionaries seeking work permits to minister in the country. By 1979 missionary presence ended.
In January 1988, two Baptist Mid-Missions couples made an exploratory trip to Guyana. They discovered an openness that hadn’t existed for more than 14 years. One of these couples returned to Guyana in 1989. The number of missionaries and ministries grew. In September 1994 they established the Corentyne Baptist Bible College.
However beginning in 1996, missionary presence declined for a variety of reasons. We currently have no resident missionaries, and the Corentyne Baptist Bible College no longer exits.
The church association leaders would like to start new churches and a Bible institute as God provides personnel.
We currently have no missionaries in Guyana, but missionaries who are burdened for this country will find opportunities to serve. Church planters with a heart for discipleship are needed to help the Guyanese believers in further outreach. A variety of other types of ministry (including youth, music, and theological instruction) would also greatly assist the work in Guyana.